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Old 10-26-2012, 02:25 PM   #1
Mario Tobias
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 261
Learning is like a flight of stairs

What I've learned from aikido is that when you're admitting to yourself that you've reached a plateau, this is also where your "jump" in your higher understanding is near around the corner if you just continue regularly with your practice.

This is also the time where sometimes you get depressed, disappointed with yourself and start asking if it's all worth it, what's the point in continuing or thinking about quitting.

The amazing thing about aikido and the human body in general is you gets spurts in learning. I view learning like a flight of stairs, it is not like a slope. Similar to a flight of stairs, there is the flat surface (plateau) and the next step (what I call spurt). Learning is a cycle of plateaus and spurts. I guess a lot of people quit because they don't realized there's something at the end of every plateau.

What's also interesting and mysterious is that you suddenly know what you do but can't explain why and how you got there.

Anybody have the same experience?
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Old 10-27-2012, 05:08 PM   #2
Diana Frese
Dojo: Aikikai of S.W. Conn. (formerly)
Location: Stamford Connecticut
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 386
Re: Learning is like a flight of stairs

For me, it does sound familiar, but it was decades ago

The strange thing is, since I was in dojos so many years I do things differently from most people in daily life, like cleaning house, cooking related stuff, and yard and garden stuff. Even tossing banana peels on the back of compost pile, aiming not to get caught on small tree branches. (Oh no the IS/IP folks might think I'm trying to do their stuff without proper study from those who know) So I agree with the "interesting and mysterious" statement at the end also.

The stairs example is excellent! It is so true of many things, not just aikido.

Hope more people answer who are training now, or even people like me who did so years ago.

Some similar words of wisdom that I never forgot since it was such a great image:

We had a friend from Korea who had a wig store here in town and taught kendo in a church basement, I took it for a while but then got busy with work and my small aikido class at a Y, but when the teacher moved a couple of towns away he taught at the Y there and I was delighted that the brother of one of my original Aikido students who had started studying kendo here continued with Mr. Park in Norwalk. Years later, I just found out from my former student that his brother reached Sandan there!

I just added the details, the point is what Mr. Park once said, and I think he meant life in general. He said to think about the frog. Before the frog jumps, he shrinks.

Somehow this reminds me of the whole plateau thing, to which you, Mario, have found an excellent image to encourage people. Even if I don't teach again, I can use that to encourage anyone I know who feels stagnant or is having a rough time at something.


Last edited by Diana Frese : 10-27-2012 at 05:18 PM.
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Old 10-27-2012, 05:38 PM   #3
Janet Rosen
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Location: Left Coast
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,339
Re: Learning is like a flight of stairs

Sure, in any endeavor....we plateau during a phase when we have taken in a lot of raw data and haven't yet integrated it...then AHA!

Janet Rosen
"peace will enter when hate is gone"--percy mayfield
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:59 AM   #4
Dojo: Charlotte Aikikai Agatsu Dojo
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,938
Re: Learning is like a flight of stairs

too busy to hit plateau, whatever that is. lets see i got a boat load of stuffs that i need to work on,

a bunch of two person bokken kata
a bunch of Saotome's two swords stuffs
a bunch of iaido stuffs
a bunch of jo work stuffs
a bunch of knifing i need to work on
a bunch of IP/IS stuffs from various sundry of folks such as Ikeda, Sigman, Popkin, WHJ, and so on
a bunch of aikido and other DVDs that i need to watch and pay attention to details
a bunch of aikido stuffs that i need to work on
a bunch of stuffs that i need to plan on teaching my folks
a bunch of parties that i need to attend and having a good time or two
a bunch of parties to plan
a bunch of posts i need to reply with taking lots of my time on aikiweb (damn you peope!)

ya, too damn busy to hit plateau. from the way i am going, i'd be lucky if i hit anything.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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